Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home. If you’re a real estate agent, you can do a deep cleaning of your marketing to make sure you’re ready for the competitive market this spring. Make sure that your social media is tailored to your audience, and that you have automated most of your posts and responses to leads. Review your online profiles and website to make sure all the data is accurate and that the content is relevant. Declutter your electronic files by deleting old pictures, videos, and mobile apps that are just wasting space on your device. After finishing your “spring cleaning”, try adding something new to your marketing routine and see if it helps your business grow.
- You can do a spring cleaning of your marketing by ensuring that your contact information and online profiles are all up to date.
- Spend some time on your website making sure all the real estate content, videos, photos, and event calendars are all current and in working order.
- Update your customer database and get rid of old email drafts that you won’t use and archive old marketing campaigns that are no longer relevant.
- After deep cleaning your marketing program, plan for the future by automating things like posts on social media and immediate responses to leads you receive, and make sure your website’s plugins and other underpinnings are functioning properly.
The first official day of spring is less than a week away, and all the home magazines and blogs are talking about a common topic: spring cleaning.
Deep-cleaning your home and clearing out the winter clutter may be traditional at this time of year, but you don’t have to stop with your house. You can also use this opportunity to spring-clean your business, starting with your marketing!
Particularly with historically low inventory plaguing many cities, this spring real estate season is likely to be one of the most competitive yet. Cleaned-up, refreshed marketing will strengthen your brand so that you can hold your own against any other agent in your city. So get out your mental broom and get ready to clear the cobwebs from your marketing plan!
Dust off Your Fundamentals
Marketing in the blind does no one any favors. You waste money, your audience gets useless information, and your sellers’ homes sit on the market for too long.
Going into spring, make sure you understand fundamental marketing principles. This will help you be more intentional and organized about your marketing activities, plus it will bring you better results.
The No. 1 rule of marketing is “know your audience”: to whom are you marketing your services, and what do they care about? Are you going after sellers, buyers, or both? Do you want to cater to a particular demographic? Use a resource such as the National Association of Realtor’s Home Buyer and Seller Profile or Zillow’s Report on Consumer Housing Trends to understand what your target audience looks for in a home and a real estate agent.
Once you know your audience, you can identify where they hang out online and what kind of message will resonate with them. Think in terms of their problems or pain points and communicate how you can help.
It’s also important to keep your content balanced. You have to compete with a myriad of other messages – not just from other real estate agents, but from everyone who is marketing to your audience – and people will skim right over your content if they don’t find it helpful, informative, and entertaining. Seth Godin calls it “permission marketing”: prove your content’s usefulness, and your marketing will gain entrance to your audience’s inner circle of attention.
Update Your Info
It does you no good to send your marketing out into the world if interested buyers and sellers can’t get in touch with you. So make sure your contact information and online profiles are up-to-date everywhere they appear.
Start with your business card and email signature, the most commonly used sources of contact information. Keep in mind that your business card and email signature are not meant to provide all your information, just the essentials. So limit details to your logo, primary phone number, email address, and website URL. Then buyers or sellers can visit your website to see your full contact information.
And speaking of websites, your next step should be to make sure all your website listings are up-to-date. Start with your own site and check that your bio as well as your contact information are all correct. If your bio needs an update, consider using this opportunity to upload a video bio instead of or in addition to a written one. It will improve your SEO, which means buyers and sellers will be more likely to find you when they search online for an agent. Then check any other sites where you have profiles – your broker’s site, franchise site, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc. – and update those as necessary.
Next, review your social media profiles. Use this as an opportunity to update not just your contact information but also all the other settings on your profiles. Refresh outdated profile or background photos, make sure all URLs and buttons work, and any other personal or business information is correct. Finish by googling yourself to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Refresh Your Website
Your website should be the centerpiece of your marketing program, with all roads leading back to your brand, your content, and your listings. Aside from updating your contact information, spring is the perfect time to refresh your website as a whole so it’s ready for the increased traffic from eager buyers and sellers.
The idea of refreshing your site can sound intimidating, but the process can actually be as easy or as complex as you want to make it. If you believe it’s time for a total overhaul, you can either hire a developer to build a new site for you or go with a templated site from a company such as Placester or BoomTown. (Read our blog posts on evaluating your current site and rebuilding your site if you need advice on this.)
If you’re happy with the overall look and structure of your site, it’s still worth reviewing your content and SEO to make sure everything is current. Check whether you need to update header or video photos, featured content (such as community videos), or event calendars. Fix any broken links or buttons, and take down or redirect any single-use landing pages that are no longer relevant. If you are running an SEO plugin, check your settings to ensure they’re accurate.
Last week, we covered several ways you can spring-clean your marketing plan to be more competitive. Here’s the conclusion of our two-part series.
Clean up Your Data
Spring is a popular time for deep-cleaning your home. Why not carry that spirit over to your marketing plan and deep-clean your data, too? Maintaining relevant data can be a challenge in real estate, with a long time horizon between transactions. But your marketing will be much more effective if you have solid data for evaluating your activities, not to mention targeting potential clients.
Start by going through your customer database to update clients’ contact information and fill in missing details. If you have a CRM that integrates with some other information source, such as lead-generation software or your email marketing platform, make sure everything is syncing correctly. Check your lead-handling workflows to ensure they’re still relevant.
If you use email software, now is a good time to update your data there, too. Delete any drafts you don’t intend to finish, archive very old campaigns, and update contact details as necessary. If your platform charges based on the size of your database, remove contacts that have opted out or that you no longer expect to use – you can always keep them in your CRM, in case you want to reconnect with them later.
Clear out the Clutter
Clutter-busting is an important companion to deep-cleaning. We recommend a two-pronged approach to this step. Start by clearing out strategic and tactical clutter. Now that your data is clean, run some reports in your CRM and email marketing software to check your marketing performance over the past year. Check your metrics for social media, and pull up the Google Analytics on your website. Use this information to evaluate the ROI on your marketing plan. Then ditch any tactics that don’t work for your business. Remember, it doesn’t matter how many experts recommend something – if it doesn’t grow your business or solve a problem for you, it’s probably a waste of time and money.
Next, clear out electronic and physical clutter. Delete mobile apps you never use – they only take up storage and drain your battery life anyway – and clear out old photos, videos, and contacts. Recycle old flyers, brochures, and other print materials that are out-of-date. If you are still using a paper-based listing presentation, consider switching to an electronic one. Not only will it eliminate clutter, but it will also be easier to update and share with potential sellers.
Plan for Maintenance
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’ve done a proper spring cleanup of your marketing program! Now it’s time to make sure all your efforts don’t go to waste. As the final step in your cleanup, put a plan in place to maintain your work. Start by automating what you can: social media posts for certain kinds of content, initial responses to leads, and email welcome series. If you maintain your own website, it can be very affordable to pay a service or developer to update your plugins and other website underpinnings. For tasks you can’t automate, use a calendar and/or task-management app to set maintenance reminders for yourself. Popular options include Trello, Wunderlist, Evernote, Google Calendar, and Outlook. Got apps or software programs that don’t work together, but you wish they did? Zapier is a terrific third-party option for tying hundreds of platforms together.
Bonus: Bring in Something New
In going through this process, you may have realized that your marketing plan is missing something. That’s one of the good things about doing a thorough cleanup: you make more room for what you really need! So if you’ve got the time and budget, don’t be shy about adding something to your newly refreshed program. Maybe it’s a new section for your website, a new social media account, digital advertising, or even something foundational like a CRM. Give yourself 1-3 months to test the new solution and make sure it works for you and your business. If it does, add it to your maintenance routine. If not, move on with no regrets. Regardless, your spring-cleaning efforts will leave you with a leaner, more effective marketing machine to power your success.
HouseLens helps real estate agents and brokers harness the power of visual marketing to win more listings, sell homes faster, attract better-quality leads, and grow their businesses. View the original article at HouseLens